Review by DragonOtaku
"Micromanagement made fun!"
Superb! If you have liked Transport Tycoon, Pizza Tycoon and other slightly micromanagement-prone games, this is definately for you.
If you have a shortage of stars, you grab the janitor and make a STAR out of him! Just like in real life, you might say.
But let's go in order about what makes The Movies so wonderful!
Graphics! I dare say, in this day and age, powerplant videocards are needed for minimal visual splendor. The Movies has accepted to play on my old GeForce 4 MX 440 graphics card however, and it played superbly on it! That is not because the game looks ugly. Oh no no no...the game itself is fresh, much like a drop of water after a day's journey through a desert. Refreshing and a pleasure to look at, Graphics gets a 9.3 out of 10 . Note that you will need the card described above, or better to play (I think that is 9250 or better in Radeon terms).
Music. This is interesting. You have a constant pleasant jingle, or "background music" as you manage. It's meant to color the management, not be enjoyable, but it is at times enjoyable. So why is that interesting? Well, you start the game in the dark ages, around 1920. Old distorted radio news and next to no technology, you will be heavily reminded of simple songs, and those old broadway tunes. As, however, time progresses in the game, you will hear that the music itself in the background evolves to match the age its' played in, as well! A brilliant idea! 8.1 out of 10 ! (Works fine without errors on my SBLive! card)
Controls. Hm. I'm not that familiar with new Tycoon and Manage games' controls, but this one is very easy. While you aren't thrown into a help screen for what every single button does, you won't be mistakenly deleting something out of curiousity and trying to find said function. If you are familiar with Black and White controls, then you should be at home. Lionhead is, you see, the developer in this case, too ! Very similar controls. Easy, responsive. My rating is a 4 out of 5 on this one.
Fun. A very, very important factor. When you get home, drenched in sweat from working at a counter someone slobbered on while talking to you, you naturally want to unwind. You unwind having fun. And if a game isn't bringing fun, you aren't unwinding, therefore the game failed its' purpose. This one however, fails to fail!
You start out humble. A briefcase full of money, and a head full of dreams! The Studio Lot has been bought and it's up to you to build an entire movie empire from nothing more than that dream. From start to finish, you will see new stars rise and old ones fall, kicking or raising some to new levels yourself! I feel that the game has been made slightly comical, but it nevertheless keeps an impressive grip on reality, further enchancing the unique, fun experience it brings! I can't even begin to list the number of things I enjoyed, so just delve into the game yourself - you're sure to find a myriad of things, as well. 9.7 out of 10!!
Interactivity. This is how well a game responds, and / or how well you can manage things, set it to your liking. This is only included as this is a Tycoon-style empirebuilder game. Pleased to say that almost everything is at your control. Take this example. You hire a nobody star. You throw him into a trailer. You cast him into a comedy movie and make a star out of him. He will whine to you about needing an entourage (Suck up assistant). You slap one of your unskilled men to his side and he will be happy. The star will gripe about his wage. So raise it! One got old?Simply sell him before retirement! Tired of average scripts?Want something unique? WRITE YOUR OWN! The game enables you to put together an entire (game-sized) movie! The game responds to you as if it was just waiting for you like a good opportunity! Maximum score!
Stability. I to this day have not experienced the smallest hang, performance drain, or crash in the game. The only exception was when AVAST was hogging CPU power to update itself. The Movies takes a while to load up, but after that, it's a very stable experience. Very smooth, to be honest, the game has given me no problems at all. Maximum score! Congratulations to the programmers, your scripting is heaven itself.
Replayability. Lost many awards, you wanted to build an empire focused on Horror instead? Ever wondered what if you owned everyone before time? I really can't say how much of a thrill replaying this wonderful game is, but I'm sure you will keep coming back to it. I have not yet finished it, so I will refrain from rating this feature. See for yourself!
Play Time. GIGANTIC. This is by no means official, but I do beleive that a game year, 365 days is ten times the real play time. Meaning. 365 days, a year in game time simply equals 36 and a half minutes. Even if it's less, you still have a whopping DECADE to wade through. From 1920 to 2000 and perhaps longer! Choices, opportunities, everything rests on you, and you will be HOOKED to this game for many, many joyful hours.
Summa Summarum. Totality. The game uniquely blends a responsive control system with a game that feels refreshing and simple ,despite it's graceful complexity. Buy or rent, I don't think you can go wrong with this game if you like management games. When you hear the jingle of the old piano soothing you as you calm an angry star from his stress on his blockbuster movie, remember the makers of this game and put your hands together that they exist - like I did. This is a unique experience I can only wholeheartedly recommend to anyone!
My final Verdict is a Grand Total of 9.5 out of 10 !
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/06/06
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